Nightfreight listing will deliver pounds 17m for courier: Express parcel delivery group plans expansion with 15 depots over four years

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NIGHTFREIGHT, the express parcels business, is coming to the market with a placing that will raise pounds 17m and value the company at about pounds 50m.

About pounds 5m of the money raised will be used to wipe out debt, with the rest funding expansion. Russell Black, chairman, said Nightfreight planned to open 15 new depots over the next four years.

The company is forecasting profits of not less than pounds 4.5m in the year ending 30 November.

Mr Black and his family own 27 per cent of the company, but are not planning to sell. Peter Johnson, chairman, holds 32 per cent and plans to sell about 10 per cent.

Nightfreight provides overnight and guaranteed parcel and freight delivery services through a network covering Britain and Ireland.

There are 38 depots in the net, of which 15 are operated by Nightfreight. The rest are run by independent businesses linked to the network.

Operating profits in the year to 30 November 1993 were pounds 2.2m (pounds 1.5m) on turnover of pounds 21m (pounds 17.7m). These included contributions of pounds 1.5m to turnover and pounds 186,000 to operating profits from the acquisitions in November of PHS Transport, Jetspeed and Greenline Group.

Mr Black said the current year had started exceptionally well, with the number of consignments handled by the network 20 per cent ahead in the first four months.

He expects further volume and revenue growth in the medium term resulting from the trend within the industry to send smaller consignments more frequently.

Mr Black added: 'The contract distribution and freight forwarding divisions offer considerable potential for development. The former is currently negotiating with several major potential customers and further growth in the demand for freight forwarding services is anticipated.'

The share price is due to be announced on 17 May, with dealing starting on 23 May.

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